US 3892235 A
Nebulizing apparatus adapted particularly for use in ultrasonic-vibration induced nebulizing inhalation therapy systems. The nebulizing apparatus hereof particularly includes an aseptically liquid filled container to serve as a nebulizer reservoir, which container is disposed for superimposed cooperation with and upon a container-supporting housing embodying a cup-like nebulizing chamber. The bottom of the container has a recessed neck-like duct terminated in a breachable seal which aseptically isolates the liquid therein. The necklike duct cooperates with a complemental socket on the upper part of the container-supporting housing of the nebulizing chamber. Supported within the chamber and socket are combined seal penetrating-and-fluid-conduit means, whereupon assembly of the container and housing effects breaching of the seal to permit the liquid to be admitted in a predeterminable amount into the cup-like nebulizing chamber. The amount and subsequent replacement flow of liquid from the reservoir being effected by the relative vertical spacing of orificed lower end portions of dual passages in the combined penetrating-and-conduit means, of which the lowermost orifice is below the liquid level and the other lower end orifice is generally level with and periodically covered and uncovered by varying levels of the liquid responsive to periodical forming of an air lock to permit intermittent feed of liquid from the reservoir into the nebulizing chamber. The bottom of the nebulizing chamber includes an ultrasonic vibration permeable window for cooperation with an ultrasonic vibration producing base. The nebulizing chamber has fluid inlet and outlet conduit connectors above the normal level of the liquid in the nebulizing chamber.
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patet 1191 Van Amerongen et al,
[ 1 ,llully 1, 11175 1 MULTI-USE INHALATION THERAPY APPARATUS  Inventors: Edward Van Amerongen, Wilmette;
Glenn Lee Beall, Gurnee; ,llohn Charles Clark, Zion; Richard Joseph Reilly, Deerfield, all of I11.
 Assignee: Respiratory Care, lnc., Arlington Heights, 111.
22 Filed: July 31,1973
Related US. Application Data  Division of Ser. No. 166,417, July 27, 1971, Pat. No.
 US. 61. 128/194; 128/D1G. 2; 141/308; 261/DIG. 48  Int. Cl A611m 15/00  Field of Search 128/194, 193, 185, 186,
128/187, 272, DIG. 2; 141/360, 363, 364, 308, 330 R, 309; 206/56 R, 56 A; 137/453, 454; 261/DIG. 48, DIG. 65, 119 R; 239/338,
Primary Examiner-Richard A. Gaudet Assistant Examiner-Henry J. Recla Attorney, Agent, or FirmEric P. Schellin  ABSTRAKCT Nebulizing apparatus adapted particularly for use in ultrasonic-vibration induced nebulizing inhalation therapy systems. The nebulizing apparatus hereof particularly includes an aseptically liquid filled container to serve as a nebulizer reservoir, which container is disposed for superimposed cooperation with and upon a container-supporting housing embodying a cup-like nebulizing chamber. The bottom of the container has a recessed neck-like duct terminated in a breachable seal which aseptically isolates the liquid therein. The necklike duct cooperates with a complemental socket on the upper part of the container-supporting housing of the nebulizing chamber. Supported within the chamber and socket are combined seal penetratingand-fluid-conduit means, whereupon assembly of the container and housing effects breaching of the seal to permit the liquid to be admitted in a predeterminable amount into the cup-like nebulizing chamber. The amount and subsequent replacement flow of liquid from the reservoir being effected by the relative vertical spacing of orificed lower end portions of dual passages in the combined penetrating-and-conduit means, of which the lowermost orifice is below the liquid level and the other lower end orifice is generally level with and periodically covered and uncovered by varying levels of the liquid responsive to periodical forming of an air lock to permit intermittent feed of liquid from the reservoir into the nebulizing chamber. The bottom of the nebulizing chamber includes an ultrasonic vibration permeable window for cooperation with an ultrasonic vibration producing base. The nebulizing chamber has fluid inlet and outlet conduit connectors above the normal level of the liquid in the nebulizing chamber.
9 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures MULTll-IUSE INHALATION THERAPY APPARATUS This is a division of application Ser. No. llddAllW, filed July 27, 1971, now issued as US. Pat. No. 3,804,280) on Apr. 16, 1974.
FIELD OF THE INVENTION The present disclosure relates primarily to nebulizer means a container and support means wherein the combination is useful in inhalation therapy and the container has usefulness in both as a liquid container for storage and as a part of the inhalation producing means.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Inhalation therapy is an art of treating with oxygen having a relatively high moisture content. The moisture may be provided by humidification of oxygen or atomization of water. Apparatus known as humidifiers are adapted for effecting the former by discharging into the atmosphere oxygen which has been broken into bubbles and has been forced under pressure through a volume of water. Apparatus known as nebulizers are adapted for effecting the latter by discharging into the atmosphere water which has been broken into a mist of fine drops.
A conventional humidifier comprises a water container of glass fabrication with an upper closure. A metal oxygen supply tube extends through the closure. It carries a radial perforated plate at its lower end for breaking up oxygen, introduced under pressure through the tube, into bubbles. As the bubbles rise through the water, they become moisture coated for discharge into the atmosphere.
While there are several heretofore known types of nebulizers, a conventional nebulizer of the type with which this disclosure is concerned comprises a water container of glass fabrication with an upper closure. A venturi tube which may be of rigid plastic fabrication is associated with the closure. It utiliizes oxygen under pressure to atomize water in the container and force the atomized water through a tube opening into the atmosphere.
Disposable humidifiers and nebulizers, according to some conventional practice, are provided by manufacturers in completed condition with sterile water. Therefore, an institution, such as a hospital, is required to have an inventory of humidifiers and nebulizers, each with its water container, if it is to satisfy all requirements. Due to the high cost attendant using conventional inhalation therapy apparatus, many institutions use reusable humidifiers and nebulizers. It will be appreciated that this practice creates a burden on trained personnel, already in short supply. Moreover, whether it produces the desired economy is highly disputable.
As a consequence considerable effort has been expended to develop a sterilized prefilled container selectively adapted as a reservoir for a humidifier or a nebulizer. With regard thereto there are now pending applications on such devices as exemplified by Ser. No. 856,756 of David Allan et al., filed Sept. lltlt, 11969 entitled: Inhalation Therapy Apparatus, now abandoned in favor of continuation application Ser. No. Efifiufidl, and Ser. No. 36,340 of Glenn L. Beall, filed May llll, I970 entitled: Nebulizer now US. Pat. No. 365249115.
The invention contemplated herein carries the inventive concept to further fruition. In the foregoing a method for humidifying and nebulizing has been described. Both are accomplished directly from the prefilled container. Another method for nebulizing is by ultrasonic means, wherein portions of the water are dispensed into a suitable receptacle and the nebulization occurs therefrom. To accomplish this from a prefilled container is one of the features of the present invention along with the structure of the container to impart further usefulness thereto.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION To effect the foregoing of the invention a container is provided comprising part of the nebulizing means for inhalation apparatus. It comprises a body having a chamber defining a nebulizer reservoir for a liquid. A first duct is integrally connected with said body and has a passage with an end portion fluidly connected with said chamber below the normal liquid level. A second duct is integrally connected to said body above the normal liquid level in the chamber. A third duct is integrally connected to a recessed portion in the bottom of said chamber. A breachable seal defines a penetrable sterile barrier integrally fashioned with each of said ducts for isolating a liquid in said chamber. In accordance with the aforementioned copending applications means on the first duct enable selective operation of said container as a humidifier reservoir and a nebulizer reservoir. The second duct after breaching is useful for dispensing therethrough bubbled oxygen laden with a relatively high quantity of moisture removed from the container or the breached duct may have water poured therethrough. To assist in this end a fourth breachable duct is provided and is located near the upper end portion of said passage. The fourth duct when breached provides displacing air to the container when it is tipped to pour liquid therefrom through the second duct.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS In the ensuing description reference is made to accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. l is a view of a container embodying the invention and being partially elevational and partially sectional;
FIG. 2 is a top view of the container;
FIG. 3 is a view taken along section line 33 on IFIG.
FIG. 4 is an enlarged vertical sectional view of the penetrating means for the third duct.
DETAILED DESCRIPTIONS OF THE ILLUSTRATED EMBODIMENTS OIF THE INVENTION Referring now more particularly to the drawings especially taken in conjunction with FIGS. 1 and 2, a container generally designated MD is shown vertically oriented. It is composed of a body I2 having therein a chamber ll l which defines a reservoir for water 1 .6 for instance. Body 12 has a bottom 1%. A passageway 19 is in communication with the bottom portion of the body I2 and extends upwardly outside said body 12 and terminates in a duct 2&1 which lies atop the uppermost portion 22 of body 312. The duct extends upwardly generally centrally with respect to the body. An external thread 24 is fashioned on the wall of duct 26}. The
, opened duct 26 provides a small opening for the admission of displacing air when required; at other times the opening remains sealed.
It will also be seen that the body 12 has a depressed area 36. The passageway 19 is therefore separate from the body 12 where it is depressed, thereby a portion of the passageway provides an excellent handgrip for the container. The use thereof will be seen later.
A duct 40 is positioned near the top of body 12 and, of course, somewhat off center. The duct 40 has an external thread 42. The duct 40 is closed to the outside by a breachable seal 44.
When it is desired to use the container as a pour bottle, the seal 44 is punctured with a suitable means to provide access to the contents within the body 12. In order to provide displacing air, seal 30 is removed by raising extension 32 which will snap off the seal 30 providing a relatively small hole. The container is then gripped by the passageway 19 with the fingers and hand while the thumb is placed easily over the small hole nowextant in duct 26. The container is tipped so that water is dispensed from the body 12 through the puncture in sea] 44. The dispensing rate of the water is controlled by the degree of tipping of the container and the amount of air permitted to be entered through duct 26. The thumb of the user is used to act as a valve.
When the container is not too large it may be appropriate to grasp the body 12. To prevent dropping of the body 'a series of vertically aligned depressions 46 are located about the periphery of the body 12.
In the situation where the container of the present invention is, to be utilized as a nebulizer reservoir or a part of the nebulizer apparatus to be described in more detail hereinafter, the water is aspirated through duct 20, after having the seal 25 punctured by similar means and manner described in the aforementioned continuation application Ser. No. 336,684 and Beall U.S. Pat. No. 3,652,015 issued Mar. 28, 1972. In this operation seal 44 will also be' broken to provide displacing air therethrough. When the container is to be employed as a humidifier, then seal 25 is punctured and oxygen is introduced therethrough by means of a suitable fitting which is screwed onto threads 24. The oxygen is fed to the bottom of body 12 through passageway 19, where it bubbles upwardly in the body 12. In duct 40 seal 44 is punctured and a suitable fitting is screwed on the duct 40. The fitting is the terminus for a suitable hose to carry the now highly humidified oxygen to the site of use. The fittings of the type that are applicable are described in copending application Ser. No. 856,756, mentioned in the foregoing. y
In still another manner, it is pointed out that the body 12 has molded slight generally arcuate or circular recess 52 atthe bottom thereof. A second more pronounced recess'54 is located concentrically with respect to the first mentioned recess. The second recess 54 may be diametrically disposed as shown in dotted lines in FIG. 2, and terminates with a centrally located center portion 56. A duct 58 extends downwardly therefrom and represents a fourth duct of the container 10. The duct 58 is spaced from the side wall 60 of the second recess and terminates on the approximately same plane as the first recess 52. The duct 58 has an external thread 62 and a breachable seal 59.
From FIG. I it will be seen that the container 10 comprises part of a novel nebulizer apparatus, and rests on a cup nebulizer 64 which has a bottom 66 and upstanding side wall 68. While cup 64 may be open at the top, more preferably it is closed by a top wall except for a neck-like internally threaded socket 69 for complemental assembly with the externally threaded duct 58, in the manner such as disclosed in Said Beall U.S. Pat. No. 3,652,015. the top of the cup 64 were left open, the upper edges of the side walls would cooperatively seal with the bottom of the container, and the threaded socket 69 would have to be supported by any suitable means such as a spider means in conjunction with the upper portions of the side walls 68. The container 10 rests on the upwardly facing edge of the cup in the area as top wall of the first recess 52. The cup 64 is adapted to contain a quantity of water 70. The cup 64 is provided with a nipple 72, connected tangentially, at the side thereof to which is connected a conduit 74 for compressed air or oxygen. At the other side of the cup is another nipple 76, also connected tangentially 180 from the nipple 72, to which is attached a conduit 75 for carrying away the now moisture laden oxygen or air. Baffles 72A and 76A provide for turbulent flow. The cup 64 is positioned on an ultrasonic producing apparatus 77 which is of a conventional type. So that the ultrasonic vibrations can get through, an ultrasonic permeable window 78 is provided as a portion of the bottom 66 of the cup 64. Although this may not'be necessary.
Mounted within the confines of the cup 64 is a combined puncturing and dispensing tool 79 constituting lar center element 81 into which is rigidly mounted a puncturing tube 82 which terminates at its uppermost end in a seal-penetratable point 83 as seen from FIG. 4. Point 83 is surrounded concentrically with the screw threaded socket 69 so that the breachable seal 59 of the container 10 is punctured as the cup is mounted to the container bottom. The bevel of the point has two orifices 84 and 85, respectively. The tube 82 is divided into two separate channels 86 and 87 by wall 88 therein. As seen from FIG. 4 channel 86 terminates somewhat below the water level while channel 87 terminates at the water level. When the water level falls below that shown in FIG. 4 ambient air is pulled up through channel 87 to displace a sufficient quantity of water which flows downwardly through channel 86 to bring the water level back up to the same level until the lower end of channel 87 is again covered with water. As no other openings are provided the water in the body 12 will be slowly dispensed fromthe bottom and atmospheric pressure will keep the remainder of the'water from running out until needed.
It will be seen that the puncturing tube functions both as a breach tool for seal 59 and as a dispensing and level control means for the water in the body. The breach may be accomplished at the moment when the container is positioned on the cup 64 or vice versa.
In this mode the nebulization is achieved under the aegis of the ultrasonic vibrations as opposed to the aspiration techniques when duct is employed. The usefulness of this system will be obvious when it is considered that a much larger liquid container may now be employed for long time continued operation. The materials of fabrication for the container will of course be plastic as it permits aseptic filling while molding. Other suitable materials may be employed.
While there have been shown and described particular embodiments of the invention, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that various changes and modifications may be made therein without departing from the invention and, therefore, it is aimed to cover all such changes and modifications as fall within the true spirit and scope of the invention.
What is claimed is:
l. Nebulizing apparatus adapted particularly for use in ultrasonic-vibration-induced nebulizing inhalation therapy systems, said nebulizing apparatus comprising in combination:
a. a liquid container having a body defining a nebulizer reservoir chamber for and containing a predetermined amount of liquid;
b. said container body having an upper portion with at least one neck portion and a lower portion with a generally planar bottom provided with a pronounced recess therein extending longitudinally toward said upper portion;
c. a duct integral with said body generally centrally within said recess, and communicating with a lower interior part of said reservoir chamber and the liquid therein;
d. said duct having an axis and extending axially downward, and terminating in a closed breachable seal defining an integral penetratable sterile barrier for aseptically isolating the liquid in said chamber;
e. a container-supporting housing having a bottom and upwardly extending side walls defining a cuplike nebulizing chamber beneath said container, said housing side walls having upper portions in physical contact with said container bottom during nebulizing operation; penetrating-and-conduit means for penetrating said breachable seal in a generally axial manner, and connected with and supported by housingconnected support means for disposition in a generally vertical manner;
g. said penetrating-and-conduit means including a generally vertically oriented elongated tubular member having an upper seal-penetrating end, and an opposite lower end extending downwardly within said nebulizing chamber but spaced above said housing bottom thereof, whereby h. said seal-penetrating end penetrating said breachable seal of said duct when the liquid-filled container is operatively mounted on said housing, whereby the liquid in said reservoir chamber is permitted to flow by gravity into said housing; through a part of said conduit means thereof; and i. said housing having inlet means for introducing of a gas thereinto, and further having outlet means through which moisture-laden gaseous fluid is discharged during nebulizing operation. 2. The apparatus as defined in claim ll, wherein the conduit means of said penetrating-and-conduit means (paragraph g) includes dual vertical passages within said tubular member and having respective upper orifices in said upper penetrating end, and having respective lower orifices terminating in vertically longitudinal spaced relationship,
whereby the lowermost of said lower orifices is adapted to be disposed substantially beneath a surface of a predetermined amount of liquid receivable into said cup-like nebulizing chamber after breaching of said seal by said penetrating means, and the other of said lower orifices is adapted to be periodically essentially coplanar with and periodically closed off by the surface liquid during operation of said nebulizing apparatus;
whereby during operation when said water in said nebulizing chamber falls below said latter lower orifice, ambient air is drawn upward through its passage and enters said container through said duct of paragraphs (0) and (d) to displace an amount of water therein which is thereby permitted to flow down the other passage to again raise the water level back up to the level of said lowermost orifice to cover it again.
3. The apparatus as defined in claim 11 wherein said duct-terminated breachable seal is disposed generally coplanarly with said bottom of said container.
4. The apparatus as defined in claim ll wherein said container bottom recess is disposed generally centrally of the container bottom and extends generally diametrically fully across the bottom thereof.
5. The apparatus as defined in claim ll, further including in combination therewith ultrasonic vibration inducing means connected with said housing of said cup-like nebulizing chamber.
6. The apparatus as defined in claim ll wherein said bottom of said container-supporting housing of paragraph (e) includes an ultrasonic-wave-vibrationpermeable window as a portion thereof, and including ultrasonic-vibration inducing means disposed therebeneath in operative engagement with said window.
7. The apparatus as defined in claim 11, wherein said container-supporting housing includes on an upper portion thereof, means for supporting and defining a neck-like socket for complemental connection with said duct of paragraph (c) and (d), said socket communicating with said nebulizing chamber defined within said housing.
8. The apparatus as defined in claim '7', wherein said duct and said socket have complemental screw threads thereon to facilitate assembly.
9. The apparatus as defined in claim ll, wherein said container bottom is provided with a shallow, generally circular recess, and the upper wall portions of said nebulizing chamber are engaged in said shallow recess.